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July 4, 2010

The Real Da Vinci Code: Leonardo Da Vinci is the Vitruvian Man

Leonardo’s Vitruvian Man teaches us how to achieve some of Leonardo’s greatest qualities. It teaches us how to balance our lives, and thereby, become more whole human beings.

Leonardo embodied the qualities of indivisible wholeness suggested by his Vitruvian Man. He was the consummate scientist (Da Vinci Man in the square) and artist (Da Vinci Man in the circle) of his time.

Leonardo said it best: “The outstretched arms and legs of a man form a square and a circle: the square symbolizes the solid physical world and the circle the spiritual and eternal. Man bridges the gap between these two worlds.”
-Leonardo Da Vinci, “The Magical Proportions of Man”

Leonardo Da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man (the Da Vinci Man with four arms and four legs in a square and circle) is the most popular secular symbol in the world. My 10 years of research suggests that the Vitruvian Man is a universal symbol for great love, relationships, success, health and the 21st century paradigm of indivisible wholeness, the paradigm for world peace. A New Renaissance!

The Da Vinci Man is a universal translator between scientific models (represented by the Da Vinci Man in the square) and religious symbols (represented by the Da Vinci Man in the circle). Therefore, the Vitruvian Man (Da Vinci Man) is a bridge between science and religion. There are amazing similarities between the sacred geometry of the Da Vinci Man, Yin-Yang, Star of David, Tree of Life, Christian Cross, Angels and Kabbalah.

Leonardo’s contributions were vast and were the most of any person of his era. He has been criticized for not completing things. This is like criticizing Columbus for not discovering India. Besides, Leonardo saw his role as an idea man. His job was to set things in motion and let others finish the work.

Many believe that the Vitruvian Man (as well as Mona Lisa) is a self-portrait of Leonardo. Unfortunately, we only have 5,000 pages of Leonardo’s work. About half has been lost. If we had the rest of his work, his stature as the greatest artist (like the Da Vinci Man in the circle) and scientist of his age (like the Da Vinci Man in the square) would only be enhanced.

The King of France believed that Leonardo was the most knowledgeable person in the world in the areas of philosophy, art, architecture and hydraulics (used in building canals). Leonardo’s work on canals was adopted and used throughout France. He was credited with the interlocking designs used for building the Panama Canal.

Leonardo was born before Copernicus, yet he came to the conclusion that the earth moved around the sun. Leonardo was born one hundred years before Galileo, yet he came to the conclusion that objects with different mass fell at the same speed. Leonardo also started grinding lenses to make the first telescope, something that Galileo was given credit for. Leonardo’s drawings and understanding of light reflected from the moon was considered to be very advanced astronomy for his time.

Leonardo discovered that the heart could be affected by blockages of the arteries. He discovered arteriosclerosis, which was credited to anatomists at least 200 years after Leonardo. Leonardo discovered that objects did not move unless acted upon. It was referred to as Leonardo’s Law before Newton was given credit for this observation two hundred years later.

NASA attributes the modern age of flight with Leonardo’s invention of the first glider. The year 2006 is the 500th anniversary of the year of flight, noted from the time Leonardo drew illustrations of the flight of birds. His drawings are considered the most accurate renditions of birds in flight until the development of the camera three hundred years later. Incidentally, Leonardo is also credited with early contributions to the development of the camera. He was the first to note how the lens of the eye inverted the images it saw.

Leonardo was a humanitarian and a lover of animals. He was vegetarian and would purchase birds in the market only to release them into the air. If one were to visit a website of Leonardo’s machines, they would see over fifty models of Leonardo’s inventions. It blew my mind how one person could accomplish so much. Leonardo’s drawings are so popular that just a few featured in the Metropolitan Museum of Art drew the largest audience for an exhibit ever attended there.

Leonardo’s realism influenced the artists of his time and those five hundred years later. His Mona Lisa so moved Raphael, he adopted Leonardo’s style. Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel, famous for the depiction of God touching Adam’s finger, shows influences from Leonardo. Bramante built parts of the church in Milan where Leonardo was illustrating the Last Supper and was so taken by Leonardo that he wrote poems about him.

This is the 500th anniversary of Saint Peter’s Basilica. Bramante started the design of Saint Peter’s Basilica, the largest architectural endeavor of the 16th century. His work was continued by Raphael and the dome was constructed by Michelangelo. All were highly influenced by Leonardo.

The geometry of the Da Vinci Person, representing the spiritual man, finds its way into the architecture of Saint Peter’s. The altar square is situated below the domed (circled) basilica. Whenever we see depictions of angels that are most true to life, we see them on the domes of churches, an entry into heaven on earth.

Bernini, one of the greatest artists of the Baroque period, designed the square around St Peter’s. It is influenced by the sacred geometry of the Da Vinci Person. Some art historians credit the early beginning of the Baroque period to Da Vinci’s highly emotional rendition of the Battle of Alighieri in the hall where the council of Florence met.

Leonardo is considered to be among the first epidemiologists. He realized that poor people died of the plaque because of the water conditions and designed the first city that would help to eliminate the cause of some diseases.

Unfortunately, we only have 5,000 pages of Leonardo’s work. About half has been lost. If we had the rest of his work, his stature as the greatest artist (like the Da Vinci Man in the circle) and scientist of his age (like the Da Vinci Man in the square) would only be enhanced.

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